USPS needs advisory council volunteers

New customer advisory council aims to tackle post office service problems

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Chronic problems with late and missing mail in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park have prompted the U.S. Postal Service to establish a customer advisory council.

The Central Illinois District Post Office is looking for 10 to 12 volunteers – both residents and business owners from the three communities – to serve on the advisory council, said USPS spokeswoman Beverly Howard.

"We want a broad spectrum (of volunteers) representing the communities," Howard said.

The council will initially meet on a monthly basis, Howard said in a telephone interview.

She said that the establishment of the advisory council is due in part to large turnout at a public meeting in February, where USPS District Manager Peter Allen apologized to residents for numerous delivery problems and lost mail.

Oak Park Postmaster Phillip Crawford will serve as chairman of the council and a co-chairman will be selected from the volunteers, Howard said.

The USPS will be accepting applications through the end of May. Howard said applications are available at the post offices, libraries and village halls of the three communities.

Howard said the advisory council will be the first in the central Illinois district, but more are expected to follow.

Contact:
Email: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

15 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

What I really want to know... from Oak Park  

Posted: May 4th, 2014 5:32 PM

What I really want to know is how I get one of those jobs? Great pay and benefits, I have a standoffish slightly detached attitude, I am ready!!

Let your voice be heard from Oak Park  

Posted: May 4th, 2014 5:28 PM

I too am seriously fed up with the laughably crappy service we receive, the Lake street station is less ridiculous than the one on Garfield which is a complete waste of space, those ladies, while nice, are mind bogglingly slow and it is a rare day both are working at the same time. AND my favorite they pulled the automated machine out of there forcing customers to wait in the 12 person deep line to buy a books of stamps. complain to the Postmaster General http://1.usa.gov/19fWhT5

Freespirit  

Posted: May 4th, 2014 2:01 PM

I stopped using our mail dept. at the High School because on 3 occasions, my mail didn't arrive at it's destination. OP has the WORST mail carriers! Give them BACK to Chicago.

OP_Resident  

Posted: May 4th, 2014 8:34 AM

Oak Park Postmaster Phillip Crawford as chairman of the council? He's the source of the problem, not it's solution.

OPDad  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 5:41 PM

OP Post Office service is dreadful. Lost and stolen mail, inconsistent mail carriers and service. I'd imagine Oak Park would be a decent route, but we seem to get the worst mail carriers in Chicagoland.

OP Transplant  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 3:56 PM

True story, I once heard an older guy in front of me in line at OP village hall snap at the woman at the counter, saying, "You don't have to talk to me like that! This isn't the post office!" I've always wanted to say something like that, but I never think of it in the moment.

OP Transplant  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 3:53 PM

Bridgett - Employment at the USPS has devolved over the years into some sort of federal jobs program for the otherwise unemployable. Too many people who wouldn't last a week at Taco Bell are able to build decades-long careers at the Post Office. I don't think there are mechanisms in place to get rid of bad employees, or to hire better ones. When the supervisor you complain to is worse than the employee you're complaining about, the problems are obviously systemic.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 3:37 PM

I agree regarding the need for this advisory council. Just fire the people not getting the job done, and find people who will get the job done. It's really not that complicated.

Dutch Elm  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 2:43 PM

What in God's name can some talk-a-thon "customer advisory council" do that the everyday logging and addressing of customer service complaints by postal management can't? Are these people living in some kind of alternate universe? Tell me that this is not a joke. Just what is the local post office expecting these "volunteers" to do? Hold their hands? Validate their effort? This is bizzare. Just deliver the mail to the correct destination.

Problem Solver--one of many...  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 2:19 PM

Years ago, I recall talk about local "intergovernmental collaboration" to solve local problems. Oak Park has MANY organizations--trying to "do the right thing". But it's tough. How do we get folks to overcome disagreements and conflicts--to "do the right thing"--which Oak Park has many versions of? Let's look at HOW DECISIONS are MADE--for the greatest good. We need to learn how to decide "what to do"--without bullying, clout, giving in, threatening, or giving up. HELP!!!!

We deserve better from op  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 1:12 PM

I work from home, in sight of the mailbox and got the same thing when I was home. I went to the main post office and had to wait 45 minutes for the supervisor. I tried to speak to the window clerk and he refused to hear me. The supervisor had hoped I would leave. ThE interaction with her makes me wonder why we put up with such bad service. My fellow OP'ers in line we're telling me not to bother, there was no point. Read yelp reviews, same lack of service daily.

OP Transplant  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 1:00 PM

JP - I can top that. I actually ran into my carrier once when I was coming home from work. He said hi, and handed my my stack of mail. Sorting through it a few minutes later, I found a "Sorry We Missed You" card. At that point, you're not even pretending that you're trying.

JP from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 8:48 AM

It's about time. My postal carrier loves to drop off "Sorry We Missed You!" cards for packages requiring signature--even if I'm home. S/he never bothers to ring the doorbell. I've tried to schedule redelivery for those packages so I can avoid the disaster that is the OP post office but surprise! They never get redelivered and end up being returned to sender. I also get neighbors' mail several times per week. Hope this works!

JR Kammeyer from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: May 1st, 2014 1:40 PM

Numerous complaints by phone to local USPS supervisors, USPS National website & centralilhotline@usps.gov . Problems: my mail delivered to tenants in my 2-flat, tenant's mail delivered to me, neighbors' mail delivered to me + mail repeatedly delivered to me addressed to 3 other people who have never lived in my 2-flat. Consider this gross negligence of carriers & serious mismanagement by local supervisors & managers. No substantive correction. Next step may be USPS Inspector General.

David  

Posted: May 1st, 2014 1:34 PM

Maybe, instead of wasting everyone's time with an advisory counsel, they could try, I dunno... fixing the problems with late and missing mail delivery. That would probably cut down on the complaints related to late and missing mail delivery and might eliminate the need for a counsel to tell them citizens are upset about late and missing mail delivery.

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